Library Journal site carries forking debate between DPLA and LibraryCity—and now here’s a suggested compromise

imageThe publib-academic forking debate is now on the Library Journal site, with a Point-Counterpart essay from me and a well-done reply from DPLA Steering Committee leader John Palfrey.

The essays are linked from LJ’s home page. Many thanks to LJ’s Mike Kelley and his colleagues for handling this so well.

imageI myself am very open to a compromise on forking. The DPLA could agree to do the fork in X number of months and meanwhile be more open about its activities, especially in regard to the Steering Committee and other gatherings, both the in-person and virtual varieties.

The end result? A public system focused on serving the needs of society at large (especially in regard to matters like K-12 and access in all senses of the word). And an academic side focused on campus needs, including high-level research. Of course, the forking would happen with extensive cooperation between publibs and and academics—including overlapping boards, content exchanges, consolidated discovery, and universal accessibility for both systems.

In regard to openness and participation, the beta sprint is a great example of the possibilities. The more input the DPLA gets from the public (especially early on), the better—whether we’re talking about interfaces or governance!

Update, May 24: We’re in favor of a shared technological-services organization, and tech is a heavy focus of the current DPLA. So even after forking, the present progress would continue smoothly—in fact, more so because the techies could more precisely target user needs without lumping academics and publibs together.

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3 Comments

on “Library Journal site carries forking debate between DPLA and LibraryCity—and now here’s a suggested compromise
3 Comments on “Library Journal site carries forking debate between DPLA and LibraryCity—and now here’s a suggested compromise
  1. That quote does not appear at current URL. It was apparently intended as a citation to strengthen an opposing view. But meanwhile here’s another quote—from the LISCareers site, from a library student who worked at a p-library trying to serve both academic and public needs:

    “There are many differences between academic and public libraries, such as the organizational missions, clienteles and roles for librarians. Because public libraries are funded for the most part by taxpayers, they are considered a service to the community and must therefore satisfy residents’ changing needs for information, education and recreation. Public librarians’ roles are focused on facilitating programs and on general reference research. The approach to serving public library patrons is different from the approach to serving college students. Public patrons come to you expecting to have their information needs met within seconds. They do not have the interest or the spare time to understand where or how you find the information. ‘I don’t care how you find it; just get it for me’ was a common statement I heard when I was working at the Broward reference desk.”

    From and above and more, we can extrapolate that both groups require accurate information but that the publib side will want better packaging, while the academics need more depth. Better to share some resources but focus on the different missions mentioned in LISCareers!

    David Rothman

  2. Pingback: ATG Article of the Week: Need Library E-Books to Feed Your New Gadget? Here’s the Answer | Against-the-Grain.com

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